I watched tonight's Friday Night Fights while I was out, and I think we were treated to a nice little main event. 23-year old super prospect Andre Berto survived a decent test from veteran Cosme Rivera, improving to 19-0 with a ten-round unanimous decision victory.
It wasn't easy for Berto, and Rivera proved to be his toughest test thus far. The 31-year old Rivera knocked Berto down with a beautifully timed left uppercut in the eighth round, though that was the only serious problem Berto had. Berto had bit on a feign, and was just caught off-guard. He took a lot of time before coming out for the ninth, with his corner re-taping his glove for a questionable length.
Rivera's gameplan seemed to be to stay away from Berto's explosive power, which was what anyone would have expected, but it was interesting to see Berto deal with someone who knew how to play away from his strengths for once. Rivera, outside of the knockdown, was never truly competitive; Berto won every other round, really. But what Rivera going the full ten without being floored by Berto was something of an accomplishment, and it almost certainly did nothing but improve Berto's game.
Berto is next scheduled to face David Rivera (20-3) on the undercard of Taylor/Pavlik on September 29.